By now, moviegoers have surely been shown enough of The Avengers via trailers and commercials to have an idea of what the film holds in store. Each successive advertisement has tried to expand the scope of the film a bit. They’ve been successful to an extent, though it still seems like the first episode in an extravagant television series rather than an ambitious big screen epic. That notwithstanding, it must be acknowledged that there appears to be some very good stuff here. The latest trailer, billed as the second official one, plays like a two and half minute highlight reel. It’s a procession of money shots in which each character gets to shine a bit. Some moments are so good that one wishes they would have been saved for the film itself.
Many of the aforementioned cool moments are enhanced by puns and bits of Smart Aleck dialogue. Black Widow meets with Dr. Bruce Banner in a rundown shack at a desolate location to persuade him to participate in The Avengers Initiative. In case negotiations don’t go quite as planned, a battalion of armed troops are shown circled around the shack with their weapons at the ready. As humor goes, It’s obvious as all Hell but it works.
In another scene, Iron Man lands atop the Stark Enterprises building and casually strolls down the rooftop landing strip. As he walks, a series of mechanical devices dismantle the Iron Man armor. He doesn’t have to break his stride or utter a single command. That’s about as James Bond as it gets, and it’s a perfectly fitting moment for old Shell Head.
There are even a few hints at the trouble in paradise when these guys are first introduced. Iron Man and Thor are shown pounding away at each other in the woods. In one scene, Cap joins them during a three way faceoff. Cap himself looks cheesy-cool in full costume. There’s another moment where he free-falls through the sky, doing a “Superman-in-flight” pose with his shield boldly out front.
The scene of Hulk smacking alien spacecraft out of the air is repeated here, as is the scene of Iron Man doing a bit of aerial dogfighting with the Alien baddies. When he gets blasted and begins falling to his doom, the Green Goliath swoops in and scoops him up like a damsel in distress. With Old Shell Head firmly in hand, Hulk then slows their rapid descent by digging a groove into the side of a skyscraper with his free hand and sliding down to the ground. It’s a great show-stopping moment that should not have been spoiled in the trailer.
As the six heroes gather back to back on a war torn street in front of New York City’s Grand Central Station, the camera pans around them, doing a complete 360. The final moment of has Iron Man being chased through the air by what looks like a giant airborne mechanical piranha, or a cybernetic silverfish with wings. Yet another shot that should have been saved for the film itself.
I’m no longer worried about the entertainment value of the film. At this point it’s clear that The Avengers is going to kick wholesale ass if nothing else. I just hope that Joss Whedon and company have not blown their proverbial load with all the trailers released over the past few months. It’d be nice to save some of the tricks for the actual performance, instead of giving it all away for free. If The Avengers is a drawn out snooze in which all the best moments were spoiled in the advertisements, I will personally put out a hit on Joss Whedon.